Train: Episode 11
Our hero finds himself in the world with all the answers, yet unable to return to where he’s most needed. Events in the other world are spinning towards disaster, and the only way to stop it might be a sacrifice of everything he’s ever known.
EPISODE 11 RECAP
A hooded figure enters Doctor Seok’s hideout to retrieve the suitcase holding victim’s body. As she turns, she reveals her face — it’s Alt SCO. Brief flashbacks show that she’s the one who left another suitcase unattended at the train station long enough for it to be soon by Lee Jin-sung, so she’d gone to his home later and killed him.
Alt Section Chief Oh was also the person who was seen disposing of a body by World A’s Seo-kyung, so she’d shot and killed her, too. Later, she’d been shaken when Alt Jae-hyuk told her that Do-won seems like a different person lately.
She was even the one who was nearly caught by Do-won on the empty train, and had taken medication when her leg briefly suffered tremors. She’d picked up Do-won’s dropped notebook and seen the picture of him with Seo-kyung, and had called him to confirm that he’d crossed the boundary between worlds.
Alt Section Chief Oh was responsible for switching the bodies at the morgue so that Alt Do-won’s body was cremated. She’s had the luxury of appearing very anxious to find Doctor Seok’s victims’ bodies, because she knows better than anyone that they no longer exist in her world. And tonight, she sets Doctor Seok’s hideout on fire, then rushes to the train station to dispose of Doctor Seok’s seventh victim.
Do-won finds the suitcase on the train, and moments later, Section Chief Oh finds him. He feels betrayed to realize that she’s been the one disposing of the bodies all this time, and he sobs a broken, “Why?” Section Chief Oh replies, “At times, you must continue even if you know it’s the wrong path.” She steps closer, and just as the clock at Mukyeoung Station registers 9:35 p.m., she shoots him in the chest.
In the morning, Seo-kyung hurries to the hospital to see Jae-hyuk, whose leg was badly burned in the fire at Doctor Seok’s hideout. They’re assuming that the fire was started by Doctor Seok to hide evidence, but Jae-hyuk says that the latest victim’s body wasn’t there.
Doctor Seok sees the news report about the fire and how a police officer was injured. He laughs like it’s the funniest thing ever, then his face goes suddenly, eerily blank. He thinks about when he was being held at the police station — it had been Section Chief Oh who had visited him, and he’d told her that he was doing this because it’s her fault he’s going crazy.
He had asked her the same question he’s been asking for twelve years, “What will you choose this time?” Tears had streamed down her face, but as Doctor Seok recalls her answer, he laughs again.
Section Chief Oh comes to see Jae-hyuk, who tells her that he wants to go back to work as soon as possible, but she tells him to focus on recovering for now. The team suddenly realizes that haven’t heard from Do-won today, and none of them can reach him.
As they’re leaving the hospital, Section Chief Oh takes a call from Doctor Seok. She tells him that her answer will never change: “I will risk everything I have to protect you.” He says that’s the wrong answer and hangs up.
Do-won’s car is found at Ilsung Station, so Seo-kyung and Joon-young hurry off to check it out. Section Chief Oh calls a reporter and orders him to write an article about Mukyeoung Station and the deterioration of the trains.
We go back to last night, over in World A, where Do-won lies by the tracks at the defunct Mukyeoung Station. He ends up at the hospital where Jung-min finds him, and luckily his bullet wound isn’t severe. Unaware that he’s not the same Do-won who she saw recently, Jung-min yells at him for getting hurt again (“If you want to die, find a more peaceful way!” LOL) and for disappearing without a word.
Do-won ignores her and storms into the police station, but there’s someone new in Section Chief Oh’s office. Jae-hyuk and Jin-woo (I’ve missed him!) tell him that Section Chief Oh quit for medical reasons. They also fuss at him for going missing, but he runs off again saying that he has to check on something.
He goes to Section Chief Oh’s house, but it’s obvious from the overdue bills on the door that she hasn’t been there in a while. Do-won goes inside to look around, and he finds the full photo of young Doctor Seok holding Section Chief Oh’s hand, and understanding dawns that she’s been lying to him for twelve years.
It’s late and raining again, so Do-won returns to Mukyeoung Station. There’s no train at 9:35 p.m. this time, and Do-won stands on the track, wondering what’s gone wrong.
Earlier in the day in World B, Seo-kyung and Joon-young have no luck finding Do-won. Seo-kyung remembers what Do-won told her about how he switched worlds, and she recalls that it was raining last night. The forecast predicts rain again tonight, so she heads to the Mukyeoung Station on her side.
As she waits for the right time, she gazes at the photo of Do-won with the other version of herself. Now that she understands who he was talking about, all the times Do-won said cryptic things, or apologized to her, or hugged her, make sense. Seo-kyung knows that when Do-won said it’s enough to know that the woman he loves is alive in some form, that he was talking about her.
When the train stops at Mukyeoung Station, Seo-kyung isn’t in the other world like she expects, but still in her own world. She asks about Train 8210 and is told that it’s being scrapped tomorrow, after the article that came out today about unsafe trains. She meets with Jung-min and tells her that Do-won is somehow back in his world, and that if Train 8210 is scrapped, he won’t be able to return.
In World A again, Do-won tells Jung-min that he knows who killed (their) Seo-kyung. He says that he has to stop the killer from doing it again, but that he can’t get back. Jung-min gives him some family registry records he asked for, which confirms that Seok Min-joon is the son of Section Chief Oh.
She’s also learned that Section Chief Oh has gone back to the house they briefly lived in when Doctor Seok was a child. She’s not alone — her son Min-joon (he’s not a doctor in this world) is there with her, and it’s obvious that he’s been in a coma for quite some time. Section Chief Oh has removed his oxygen mask, and she’s cut the gas line in the kitchen. She lies across Min-joon’s chest, humming softly, prepared for them to die together.
When Do-won arrives at the house, he luckily finds the doors open. He smells the gas inside and turns it off, then opens as many doors and windows as he can. He finds Section Chief Oh and Min-joon upstairs, and thankfully he’s in time to save both their lives.
When she’s conscious, Section Chief Oh kneels in front of Do-won. Holding the necklace that he’d believed his father used to kill Seo-kyung’s father, he whispers, “It wasn’t for me, was it? What you wanted to protect twelve years ago. It wasn’t me, was it? You wanted to protect your son, the real murderer.”
He demands some answers, so Section Chief Oh explains that she got pregnant by a married man and decided to keep her son. She says that she didn’t know until after Min-joon was born that her mother had Huntington’s disease, which she now suffers from, and which she passed on to her son (Huntington’s does not skip generations).
She wasn’t strong enough to wait for the inevitable signs that the disease was taking hold of Min=joon (it usually starts at a younger age in men), so she sent him to live with his father. She hadn’t seen him again for years, but when Seo-kyung’s father was killed, she’d found the medication bottle that Min-joon dropped.
She’d contacted Min-joon, who’d admitted that he was the killer, and Section Chief Oh had correctly guessed that he left the bottle on purpose so that she would find him. She’d asked why, but Min-joon had said she should be asking why he killed a man.
Section Chief Oh had asked what he was planning, and he’d asked in turn if she was afraid because her son killed someone, or because she was investigating a murder her son committed. He’d asked his question for the first time: “Will you continue to live as a cop, or will you live as my mother even if only for a moment?”
Since Do-won’s father had taken the necklace out of fear because his fingerprints were on it, Do-won had assumed his father was the killer. Seeing an opportunity, Section Chief Oh had let him think that, and had persuaded him to keep it to himself by claiming that she didn’t want him to live as a murderer’s son.
But Do-won now understands that she just didn’t want Min-joon’s fingerprints to be found on the necklace. She wails that by the time she’d realized what she’d done, it was too late.
A week after the murder (only in World A, this somehow didn’t happen in World B), Sung-wook and Min-joon had been in the car, and Sung-wook had said he was going to the police to turn himself and Min-joon in. Min-joon had grabbed the wheel, but Sung-wook had fought him, and they’d crashed into a telephone pole. The accident had left Sung-wook with a traumatic brain injury, and Min-joon in a coma.
Do-won asks if Section Chief Oh ever thought how things might have turned out if Min-joon hadn’t been in that accident. He says that she doesn’t deserve to die, and growls at her to live with the pain of the abyss she created.
As he leaves the house, Do-won runs into Jae-hyuk and Jin-woo on their way in. He tells them that the killer from twelve years ago is in the house, and that Section Chief Oh will know where to find the jewelry that disappeared that night. He turns to go, saying that he has to go back because Seo-kyung needs him.
It’s raining again when Do-won gets back to Mukyeoung Station, but again the train doesn’t come. He tries to call Seo-kyung, but of course the call won’t go through. He doesn’t know that she’s at the station in her world, also trying unsuccessfully to call him.
As they walk the tracks, they pass right by each other, though in separate realities. They both seem to sense something, and when Seo-kyung whispers Do-won’s name, he hears her voice. He turns and calls out to her, and she hears him, and when she turns back, they can see each other for just a brief moment. Seo-kyung runs to Do-won, but he fades away.
The next day, Seo-kyung goes straight to Doctor Seok’s office and shows him her gun so that he doesn’t try anything. She says that she knows his final target isn’t her, but his mother who abandoned him and left him alone with his fear of his illness.
Doctor Seok tells her to shut up, but she continues that he chose his victims because he saw his mother in them when they’d confided that they felt they’d abandoned their family in some way. When she’d figured that out, she’d realized that the person Doctor Seok really wants to kill is his own mother.
She vows to stop him, but Doctor Seok just smirks that she still doesn’t know who his mother is. He says they still have one game to play, and shows her the stolen ring from her mother’s jewelry box. He asks if Seo-kyung can find the person who gave him his illness before he kills her.
After Seo-kyung leaves, Doctor Seok sends Section Chief Oh the audio recording he made of his last murder. She calls him and asks what he’s doing, and he asks who he should send the file to next… maybe Seo-kyung? He tells Section Chief Oh that Seo-kyung is about to find out who she is, and orders her to meet him at the house if she wants to stop him.
Elsewhere, a car is pulled out of a river with human bones inside. The forensics investigator finds a spent bullet, making it a murder case, and in the car they find uniform insignia. The forensics investigator talks to Jung-min on the phone and tells her that he thinks the victim is a superintendent on the police force.
Seo-kyung tries to find out who rented the house Doctor Seok lived in as a child, but the owner at the time had passed away and the records are lost. A man comes to the station looking for Do-won, and because he’s not there, he gives Seo-kyung the list of patients with Huntington’s disease in South Korea that Do-won asked for.
Alt Section Chief Oh recalls a day when she’d found Doctor Seok trying to hang himself, but she’d saved him at the last moment. She repeats her promise to protect him “every single time.”
Seo-kyung scans the patient list and stops in surprise when she sees Section Chief Oh’s name. When she’d been at the house, the neighbor had told her that Doctor Seok’s family name wasn’t Seok at the time, but Oh. She looks up Section Chief Oh’s file, and she has the same birthday as the Oh Mi-sook on the patient list.
As she drives to the old house in Innam, she calls the traffic department and verifies that both Doctor Seok’s car and Section Chief Oh’s car have passed that way tonight. She arrives just minutes after Section Chief Oh, who is inside pointing a gun at Doctor Seok.
At the same time, Do-won is speeding towards Mukyeong Station, determined to get back to World B and protect Seo-kyung. As he enters the old station, his head starts to ring, and he thinks to himself, “I should have realized it sooner. The overlapping worlds, the repeating fates. The one sending you to your death once again was me.”
I just loooove that this is where the show took this story — a terrified, guilty mother making one wrong decision, which snowballs on her until one day she finds herself disposing of the bodies of women her son kills in effigy of herself. I mean, it doesn’t get more twisted than that, and story-wise, it’s fantastic. It’s a twist I didn’t see coming until we saw Section Chief Oh peering out of that hood at Do-won on the train, and just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, it got worse. Luckily (for everyone else), Min-joon wasn’t able to carry out his homidical plans in World A, but in World B, everything has gone as badly as possible. Do-won would never have known about that world at all if Alt Section Chief Oh hadn’t discovered the way to cross the boundary, and although it cost Seo-kyung her life, I think this will end up affording Do-won a chance to bring the worlds together and make things right again.
I believe that World A is the world that was supposed to be, and that World B is a twisted, warped version of reality where one wrong decision (of Do-won’s to ignore Seo-kyung), set off a chain of bad events. I think that Do-won was supposed to meet Seo-kyung that night, so when a part of him split off and didn’t approach her, it damned World B to being wrong in every other way. I think (I hope) that the answer is for Do-won to somehow reconnect the two worlds and put things back as they should be. I don’t know if we’ll ever find out how the split happened or why the train became a bridge between the worlds, but for once I wouldn’t mind if we didn’t get all the answers. The story itself has been so consistently strong and exciting that I’m willing to just accept that this is what happened, without needing to know how or why.
I find it very interesting that it was Seo-kyung’s longing to see Do-won that let them see each other at Mukyeoung Station for that fleeting moment. When she ran to him I got goosebumps, that was such a moving scene. It showed that her feelings match his now, that they care for each other enough that they could even break through the boundary between the worlds. That’s the moment I really became okay with the possibility of Do-won ending up loving the Seo-kyung he didn’t grow up with, and really they are the same person, just different versions of that person. Seo-kyung may have differing memories from Do-won, but they still share a very important connection, and that was proven by their ability to be in the same place at the same time, although in different realities.
I’ve felt dissatisfied with Seo-kyung’s character throughout this whole show, because she’s so smart but she either wasn’t doing much to help Do-won solve the mystery, or when she did have some ideas, he forbade her to act on them out of fear. But in this last couple of episodes, Seo-kyung redeemed herself to me in a big way by being the one to figure out why Doctor Seok has been killing and how he chose his victims. She’s the one who found out about his family history of illness, she realized on her own that SCO is his mother, and she’s the one who confronted him with this information and her deduction of who his last victim will be. I finally feel like Seo-kyung showed up as a strong character, and I guess, better late than never!